In an effort to foster community engagement and discuss ongoing conservation efforts, the Congo Basin Institute (CBI) and the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) embarked on a mission to visit the Dja Faunal Reserve area in Cameroon, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the largest protected areas in Central Africa.
During the mission, several vital meetings were organized, bringing together six villages nestled within the Dja Faunal Reserve’s embrace. This initiative aimed to cultivate a deeper sense of community engagement and provide a platform for an open exchange of ideas.
Dr. Kevin Njabo, representing the Congo Basin Institute (CBI) introduced the Institute and its mission to the communities. CBI, a non-profit organization born from the collaboration between the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) and UCLA, has dedicated itself to safeguarding the rich tapestry of life within the Congo Basin. Over the past five years, CBI has actively engaged with local communities, offering employment opportunities, scholarships for students, agroforestry projects, and much more.
This mission highlighted the significance of open dialogue, enabling community members to express their concerns, share their insights, and offer suggestions. These discussions, held in various communities, showcased the strong relationship between CBI, UCLA, and the people of the Dja.